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Tips for a Green Spring Cleaning

In the latest issue of the Alumni Magazine, we looked at the efforts of the Building & Grounds crew to be as green as possible in their snow removal after the February blizzards hit campus. Now that warm weather has arrived, here are some green tips to consider while you are doing your spring cleaning, with chemicals you should try to avoid and their green alternatives:

1. Window and air cleaners (ethylene-based glycols, known as butoxyethanol, EGBE or, most commonly, cellosolve).
Found in: blue glass cleaners, Professional Windex, UNREAL spot remover, Formula 409, Pine-Sol, and Windex Aerosol.
Why: EPA recently called it a possible human carcinogen (www.epa.gov/ncea/iris/subst/0500.htm)
Alternatives: Bon Ami and 7th Generation, Mr. Clean products. For air fresheners, use lemon and water.

2. Citrus-oil cleaners (terpenes)
Found in: lemon, pine, orange oil cleaners.
Why: When they mix with ground ozone, they become carcinogens.
Alternative: Green Terpene (www.greenterpene.com)

3. Chlorine bleach (bleach or sodium hypochlorite)
Why: Fumes can irritate sensitive lungs (heart or respiratory problems). Never mix with other chemicals.
Alternatives: 7th Generation Chlorine-Free Bleach or vinegar and water.